INDIANAPOLIS - Behind a late flurry from Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. the U-M basketball team picked up a much needed win with a stunning 12-point comeback against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the quarterfinals of the Big 10 Tournament.
Trailing 51-39 with just 8:35 left in the game, the Wolverines outscored the Fighting Illini 21-4 down the stretch to notch their 20th win of the season, a win that more then likely punches the Wolverines dance ticket.
Darius Morris led the Wolverines with 17 points and seven assists in the contest. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16 points, and Zack Novak chipped in with 14. Eight of Morris' 17 points came in the final run, and a late Hardaway three-ball put UM on top for good.
Holding Illinois scoreless for more then five minutes allowed U-M to cut into the Fighting Illini lead. Evan Smotrycz sunk a pair of triples, and Morris made good on a pair of layups to tie it 51-51 with 3:31 left.
Mike Davis put Illinois back on top with a pair of free throws moments later, but Morris matched them before Tim Hardaway Jr's triple to make it 56-53 Michigan. U-M then put the game away at the free throw line.
In the first half Michigan built a 12-5 lead before the No. 5-seeded Illinois went on a 29-11 surge to end the half. Brandon Paul tied the score at 17-17 with a triple with 7:59 left in the half, then two triples from Bill Cole and one from Mike Tisdale helped Illinois extend the lead.
At the break Illinois held a 34-23 lead.
The Wolverines now advance to the tournament semifinal to meet the No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:40 p.m.
Michigan Stuns Illinois 60-55
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